Agenda and minutes

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 2 February 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room A - Council Offices, Monkton Park, Chippenham SN15 1ER. View directions

Contact: Matt Hitch Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from:


·       Cllr Kevin Parry (Swindon Borough Council)

·       Louise Williams (Co-Opted Independent Member)

·       Denisa Ahmeti (Co-Opted Independent Member)

·       Chief Constable Kier Pritchard (Wiltshire Police)


Minutes and matters arising

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023.

Supporting documents:


On the proposal of Cllr Sheppard, seconded by Cllr Amin, it was resolved:




The minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive announcements through the Chairman.


There were no announcements.


Public Participation

The Panel welcomes contributions from members of the public.




If you wish to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the first page of the agenda for any further clarification.




Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 25 January 2023. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman stated that he was keen to improve the public communications of the Panel and welcomed questions related to its responsibility and functions.  It was noted that a question had been submitted by a member of the public and that the repose had been published in Agenda Supplement 1.


The Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) confirmed that the PCC’s response to the Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) report was included on their website. For the benefit of the public, he also noted that a comprehensive update had been provided to the Panel. The update had been behind closed doors due to the need to protect confidential information.   



PCC Precept Proposal 2023/24 and Budget

To review a report on the PCC’s precept proposals for 2023/24.


To consider the findings of a public consultation on the PCC’s proposals.

Supporting documents:


The Panel considered a report from the PCC’s Chief Financial Officer about proposed changes to the precept for the financial year 2023-24. The officer noted that, if the precept was increased by lower than the amount recommended in the report, it would be likely to require a high rate of increase in future years in order to improve service levels. 



During the discussion, points included:


·       The Chief Financial Officer was thanked for the update and for the recommendations in his report.

·       The officer was pleased to update the Panel that £171,000 of additional funding had become available since he presented his Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) at their January meeting, due to a surplus in the estimated council tax base. However, he was keen to stress that a surplus of this size was unlikely to be repeated in future years and that population changes were built into his forecasts. The extra £171,000 for 2023-24 would be used to help mitigate inflationary pressures.

·       He also noted that the government had recently confirmed the level of central and uplift grant funding.

·       It was confirmed that the specific grant of £2.265 million was not contingent on reaching their target figure of 1,197 officers by 31 March 2024 but would likely be based on achieving a headcount (not necessarily full time equivalent) of 1,189. There would also be a mid-year target.

·       It was explained that assumptions, about the quantity of and time to recruit staff, had been increased to reflect current recruitment levels and had been included with the £3.108 million savings programme, but this would regularly be reviewed depending on the wider economic outlook.

·       The PCC reported that he had, alongside local MPs, been lobbying for a review of the police funding formula and was optimistic that this would soon take place. Members of the Panel were also keen to offer their support.

·       The PCC explained that the National Police Air Service, the group providing air support to all police forces in England and Wales, had agreed that they would lease aircraft rather than purchase new aircraft one a one for one basis. The PCC felt that this would provide extra flexibility and highlighted that all PCCs in the region were keen to build up drone capacity. An evidenced based assessment would be required to establish the number of helicopters required by Wiltshire Police.

·       In response to further questions about drones, the PCC outlined the increased use of drones and Wiltshire Police drone pilots. He was in discussions with the force on how to ensure this was a dedicated police function as capability increased. 



Cllr Cave arrived at 10:30am.




The Panel then reviewed the findings of a consultation carried out by the OPCC about the proposed changes to the budget. The Panel observed that 54 percent of respondents were in favour of the full proposed increase. They also welcomed the work undertaken to reach different sections of the community. One Panel Member did note that he felt support had been higher in previous years  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.



To receive an update on how the Police and Crime Panel can improve its communications with the wider public.

Supporting documents:


As the PCC was unavoidably delayed the Chairman chose to take the Communications Item ahead of Item 6 on the agenda.


The Chairman reminded the Panel that they were required by their procedure rules to establish and maintain a dedicated open access website including information about their role and work. He reported that he had asked officers to aim to establish a basic website by the time of the Panel’s next meeting. In addition, he explained that procedure rules required that a briefing note about the work of the Panel was circulated to elected members at least three times a year.


The Chairman also took the opportunity to thank a member of the public, Mr Caswill, for highlighting the importance of improving the Panel’s communications with the wider public.


At 10:13am the Panel voted to adjourn the meeting for a maximum of 15 minutes to allow the PCC time to arrive. The meeting resumed upon his return at 10:20am.


Future meeting dates

To note the future meeting dates below:


·       Thursday 9 March 2023 - Salisbury Guildhall


·       Thursday June 2023 – date and venue to be confirmed


·       Thursday 14 September 2023 – venue to be confirmed


·       Thursday 14 December 2023 – venue to be confirmed


It was noted that the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel would be at 10:00am on Thursday 9 March 2023 at Salisbury Guildhall.


Future meeting dates were confirmed as:


• Tuesday 13 June 2023, 2:30pm – Corn Exchange in Devizes


• Thursday 14 September 2023, 10:30am – West Wilts Room, County Hall


• Thursday 14 December 2023, 10:30am – Committee Room 6, Swindon